According to the Global Health Security (GHS) Index, 2019, national health security is “fundamentally weak” around the world. The report gains significance in the context of the recent Coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak.
The Global Health Security (GHS) Index, a report from the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Economist Intelligence Unit, was released in October 2019.
The GHS Index is the first comprehensive assessment and benchmarking of health security and related capabilities across the 195 countries that make up the States Parties to the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005).
The IHR, 2005 represents an agreement between 196 countries including all the World Health Organization (WHO) the Member States to work together for global health security.
The GHS Index assesses countries’ health security and capabilities across six categories, 34 indicators, and 85 sub-indicators. The six categories are as follow:
Prevention: Prevention of the emergence or release of pathogens.
Detection and Reporting: Early detection and reporting for epidemics of potential international concern.
Rapid Response: Rapid response to and mitigation of the spread of an epidemic.
Health System: Sufficient and robust health system to treat the sick and protect health workers.
Compliance with International Norms: Commitments to improving national capacity, financing plans to address gaps, and adhering to global norms.
Risk Environment: Overall risk environment and country vulnerability to biological threats.
The index measures countries’ capabilities from 0-100, with 100 representing the highest level of preparedness. The GHS Index scoring system includes three tiers.
Low Scores: Countries that score between 0 and 33.3 are in the bottom tier.
Moderate Scores: Countries that score between 33.4 and 66.6 are in the middle tier and
High Scores: Countries that score between 66.7 and 100 are in the upper or “top” tier.